Full Name: Jerral Wayne Jones
Birthdate: October 13, 1942 (age 80)
Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas
Alma Mater: University of Arkansas (Bachelor‘s Degree in Business)
Wife: Eugenia "Gene" Jones (married 1963-present)
Children: Stephen, Charlotte, Jerry Jr.
Jerry Jones is one of the biggest names and personalities in the NFL. As president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys since 1989, Jones has built a reputation as a highly involved owner who is not afraid to make bold moves. He helped guide the team to immense success in the 1990s, winning three Super Bowls. Today, Jones remains dedicated to bringing glory back to "America‘s Team."
From Oilman to Cowboys Owner
Long before he purchased the Cowboys, Jones had already established himself as a shrewd businessman. After college, he sold insurance before going to work with his father‘s insurance company. He soon began making oil and land deals, which brought him his first millions.
In 1989, Jones shocked the NFL world by buying the Cowboys for $140 million. He promptly fired the legendary Tom Landry and replaced him with Jimmy Johnson. Jones was determined to regain total control of personnel decisions as the new general manager.
Return to Glory in the 1990s
Jones‘ gamble paid immediate dividends. Led by quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and receiver Michael Irvin, the Cowboys dominated the NFL in the early 1990s. From 1992-1995, Dallas won three Super Bowls and cemented themselves as "America‘s Team."
Emmitt Smith reminisced: "We knew we had something special with that group. Jerry put the right pieces together." Those dynastic Cowboys teams are still revered by NFL fans today.
Ups and Downs in the 21st Century
After the highs of the 90s, Jones faced criticism as the team struggled to consistently win from 2000-2009. They failed to qualify for the playoffs from 2000-2003. Jones made several questionable personnel moves during these lean years.
However, he remained committed to building a winner. In 2009, the $1.3 billion AT&T Stadium opened as the Cowboys‘ new opulent home. "Jerry World" reflected Jones‘ dedication to sparing no expense.
Still Going Strong at 80
Even at age 80, Jones maintains an active, hands-on role with the Cowboys as owner/GM. His sons Stephen and Jerry Jr. also work in the front office. Jones is often enthusiastically cheering on his team from his luxury box and giving colorful media interviews.
Over 30 years since buying the Cowboys, Jones has shown no signs of slowing down. He once joked: "I plan to die right here looking at this field!"
The Businessman Beyond Football
Jones has amassed a personal fortune estimated at $11.7 billion. While the Cowboys are the crown jewel of his portfolio, he has made millions in other ventures:
- Real estate – developed residential and commercial properties
- Energy companies – owns oil and gas holdings
- Automotive – operates several car dealerships
- Film – co-founded production company Blue Devil Films
Jones is also a prolific philanthropist, supporting education, health, and other causes through his family foundations.
Records, Honors, and Legacy
With Jones as owner, the Cowboys have a record of 364-314 in the regular season and playoffs. They have won 10 division titles and made 32 playoff appearances.
Jones has been honored as NFL Owner of the Year four times. In 2017, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Love him or hate him, Jerry Jones‘ impact on the NFL is undeniable. He helped grow the Cowboys into sports‘ most valuable franchise. Jones has said the team will remain in the Jones family for generations to come. At 80 years young, Jerry Jones is still going strong as Dallas‘ face and leader.